It has been a long and at times arduous process but we have finally got our planning application for the Winery at Rathfinny approved!!!
We have spent most of the last year, using consultants from all over the world, designing the Winery and the plans have finally been approved. What is significant is that it was approved as an agricultural building. Agricultural determination was very important not only to us but for the future of the English Wine Industry, as it now sets the precedent for all future Wineries in England.
Wineries need to be built as close to the Vineyard as possible to reduce damage to the grapes. If our Winery had been classified as an industrial building I am not sure we would have got the permission, especially as we are in a National Park.
However, they have not only granted permission for the Winery they have also approved the building of a small solar site behind the Winery to help reduce our carbon footprint and the establishment of a waste water treatment plant located behind the grain barns. This will enable Rathfinny to get closer to our goal of being sustainable on energy and water usage.
The first vines arrive in just seven weeks time so the clock is ticking and we need to get the Winery built by the summer of 2013 so we are ready for our first harvest
I wish to thank all those who have given their support, both written and verbal, to these plans especially those in our local community of Alfriston, who have not only been so welcoming, but enthusiastic about the project.